Walpole tragedy: Sol’s family pay tribute to ‘much loved’ 8yo who drowned during Fernhook Falls camping trip

Daryna ZadvirnaThe West Australian
The family of an eight-year-old boy who drowned near a Walpole camp site have broken their silence over his tragic death.
Camera IconThe family of an eight-year-old boy who drowned near a Walpole camp site have broken their silence over his tragic death.

The family of an eight-year-old boy who drowned near a Walpole camp site have broken their silence over his tragic death.

The Denmark family were on the second day of a camping trip at Fernhook Falls when the boy, named Sol, went missing on October 10.

Sol’s brother heard him cry out for help moments after it was believed he fell from his kayak into the fast flowing Deep River.

8-year-old Sol, who was sadly located deceased in the river at Fernhook Falls North Walpole.
Camera Icon8-year-old Sol, who was sadly located deceased in the river at Fernhook Falls North Walpole. Credit: WA Police

Police recovered his body on Friday.

Today his family released an image of the “much loved” boy and issued a short statement, via WA Police.

“Sol was much loved by his parents, his brothers, and his community,” the statement read.

“Our deepest thanks go to the Police, Emergency Services, Community Volunteers, and Civilian Contractors. We acknowledge the many individuals who gave everything in extreme conditions to recover our boy.

“We would also like to thank our friends and family for their comfort and support.”

Great Southern District Superintendent Kim Travers previously revealed Sol spoke to his brother about how good it would be to cross the kayak across “the chute”, a short, sharp rapid.

She said Sol was told it was too dangerous, but soon after the youngster spotted foam at the bottom of the river and decided to paddle through it.

“We believe he has brought his kayak to the top level of the falls, attempted to launch the kayak to play in the foam,” Supt Travers said.

“What appears to have happened — nobody actually saw this part of the incident — the brother had heard (the boy) cry out for help and immediately rushed down (to his aid).”

The elder boy then saw the blue kayak wedged under a log — but could not see his brother.

By the time he had run back to alert his parents, the boat had dislodged and was found at the bottom of the rapids.

She revealed Sol’s dad immediately jumped into the water but all he located was his blue jumper.

Describing the incident as “heartbreaking”, Supt Travers said a report would be prepared for the Coroner.

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